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    Even having decent health, I often feel like disabled on lots of modern websites. Using mouse with “continuous”, non-clicking scroll? Our website is not for you, we have Smart Smooth Scroll Hijacking. Autoplaying videos with loud sound give you anxiety? You are probably non-normal, every normal person likes videos much more than text! You should go to mental asylum then! Subscription popups that jump to your face when you read text scare you? Take alprazolam. Using top edge of browser viewport as a reading guide? You must train yourself to read without reading guide and don’t skip lines in the center of screen, because top is reserved for our material UI/UX slide-down header, go to elementary school to get literacy lessons…

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      If “accessibility is a civil right” then what can be done to ensure that that “right” is protected? Some sort of ADA for the internet? I agree with the sentiment of this article, but beyond all of us trying harder and subbing to newsletters, what can be done on a scale that matters?

      Do major companies have disability advocates for their web tech?

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        The ADA does apply to web sites. If you find a website that’s not accessible, you can sue them and get lots of money. https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hotels-ada-compliance-20181111-story.html

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          My understanding is for accessibility, the website has to represent the online presence of a brick and mortar type of business. So retail chains, restaurants, etc are prime targets. So not every website, but many.

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            Good to know!

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            There’s typically at least somebody within any large company whose job it is to admonish everyone to do better at this sort of thing. Unless the company is Apple, they probably don’t have the headcount and authority they need to even work through the backlog of pervasive, obvious issues affecting all the company’s products.

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              Apple is really good with accessibility.

              When you setup an iPhone, one of the first things you do in the setup wizard is change accessibility settings. It asks if you want to pair a hearing aid, make text bigger, etc.

              I don’t even know if Android has the ability to do some of those things (and I’ve spent at least a few hours going through every settings menu during my time with it.)

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                My wife is legally blind and prefers Samsung to Apple. There are features in Samsung that help her (larger text most importantly).

                What she does react to is that each Android vendor is slightly different regarding this, and that UI redesigns can alter the way icons etc look. She’s “locked in” to Samsung as that’s the system she knows.

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            As a visually impaired developer, I’ve both used and developed screen readers, particularly on Windows. I’ll be happy to answer any questions anyone may have. Ask me anything.

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              I have a code documentation and blog site. I’m pretty confident in the overall layout of the site and the prose - this is reasonably simple semantic html - but what about presenting code samples? My markup for those is kinda a mess, I’m not super happy with it semantically, but it renders fairly well to the eye after css styling. Lots of stuff like

              <pre><span class="line-number">1</span><span class="comment">/* foo</span>
              <span class="line-number">2</span><span class="comment">    stuff*/</span></pre>

              Except some of my samples are hundreds of lines long. Not necessarily because all that code is worth reading in detail, but because I want to provide a complete example for copy and paste tinkering. It is meant to be skimmed.

              Do you have any tips on a good way to better mark up those code samples to make them more usable to a visually impaired user?

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                1. When adding a “back to top” button, it’s often recommended to move the focus as well. What am I suppose to move the focus to? The first focusable element on the page? What if this element is below the fold? Should I focus the first element even if not focusable?

                2. Can you give a rule of thumb to aria-live sections in SPA? Is it really useful? How should I move focus?

                A11y now days feels a lot like developing a website 10 years ago where you had to test it on chrome and IE. You have JAWS, talk back and ten others times chrome and edge. TBH im still unable to install a screen reader on gnome in my language. It’s still too hard!

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                Did we really call the accessibility tag a11y?

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                  FWIW, a11y is a fairly industry-standard term for accessibility, since it both serves as a short moniker (a la i18n for internationalization), and evokes being an “ally” for issues relating to accessibility.

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                    Accessibility is often abbreviated as the numeronym a11y, where the number 11 refers to the number of letters omitted. This parallels the abbreviations of internationalization and localization as i18n and l10n respectively.


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                      The number of times I have to type I18n in our app makes me glad this happened.

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                        Programmers really are the worst. :p

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                          Alternatively, it is nice to think of it as being an “ally” to people who use the web differently than we do. It’s cute, easy to type, and overall I don’t think it’s that hard to understand. I do see the concern that to people outside the industry it may not make sense, I just feel like on a highly technical site like lobsters it’s not as big of a concern. The tag description does say “accessibility” for what it’s worth.

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                        You know, I never questioned whether that was appropriate until now…

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                          Wait, I’m confused (or just ignorant) here - why wouldn’t it be? Is it different from shortening internationalization to i18n?

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                            It’s the same idea, but it’s kind of not very accessible in that it excludes people because it needs explanation.

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                              Every field has jargon, and the cost of not having jargon is being unable to talk about that field’s ideas at all. I support Ed Kmett’s approach: use only jargon you understand and always be prepared to explain things to onboard newbies.

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                                Yeah, I mean, I realize that this term is fairly well-known. It’s a field that’s about people’s lives, so it does have a higher standard to meet than, say, type theory. I suspect that in practice, this abbreviation isn’t a problem. I was just a bit surprised at myself that I never questioned it before. I still don’t even know how it sounds in a screen reader, since I don’t have one set up to test with.

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                                  I still don’t even know how it sounds in a screen reader, since I don’t have one set up to test with.

                                  Just tested with Windows Narrator, it pronounces it “ay-eleven-why”.

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                        In the article, the author links the WebAIM site, mentioning some of their tools. Digging around, they have a really nice tool called Wave for accessibility checking similar to The W3C Markup Validation Service.

                        The tools is quite nice. It flags errors (issues that make your site non-compliant), alerts (nice to fix to improve accessibility, contrast errors, and as well as highlighting features that can improve site usability (like Aria tags), but really require a human judgement call.

                        I ran Wave against my site and several of the articles. I was on the fence about whether to continue using full-justification for the body paragraphs. The tool alerted. Apparently full justification, while compliant, can be a problem for screen readers. My site is no longer justified.

                        In addition to the validation too, WebAIM have Chrome and FireFox extensions for use on private pages or pages in development, an enterprise edition, as well as an API edition for checking all the pages on your site. There’s also an analytics tool to collect accessibility data about your site.

                        Making a site accessible takes time, but there are tools to help. And they’re free or low cost to use.